Possible visit of the Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev is unacceptable for Tokyo. As per “Asahi Shimbun”, this was stated by the Secretary General of the Government of Japan Esihide Suga.
The visit of the Russian Prime Minister to the Kuril Islands does not correspond to Japan’s position on these four northern islands of the southern ridge, Suga was quoted saying.
Furthermore, such a move by Medvedev would hurt the national feelings of the Japanese. Suga assured that Tokyo would make every effort to prevent the visit.
Medvedev’s intention to re-visit the Kurils was announced on July 23. Medvedev urged the other ministers of the cabinet to follow his example. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has called on Moscow to cancel the trip. In response, Medvedev’s press secretary Natalia Timakova noticed that Medvedev sets his own travel routes across the country and does not require any advice from outside.
Russia believes that the southern Kuril Islands became a part of the Soviet Union following the Second World War. Japan, in turn, considers these territories its own based on the bilateral Trade and Boundaries Treaty of 1855. Tokyo strongly opposes all visits by Russian leaders to the South Kurils.
Dmitry Medvedev has visited the island of Kunashir twice: in November 2010 as a first Russian President to visit the disputed territory, and in July 2012 as Prime Minister.